Wheels India chairman S Ram said the company expects to post growth in its export business on the back of strong relationships with global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
He was addressing shareholders at the company’s 64th annual general meeting held through video conferencing.
In FY23, Ram said, the demand for commercial vehicles was driven by the government’s infrastructure drive, higher utilisation of fleets and replacement demand. There were also structural changes in the sub-segments of the CV industry, to align with the load rating changes that happened prior to the pandemic and higher horsepower vehicles in some segments.
He said there was strong growth in the bus segment in the latter part of FY23. “This year, there is expected to be some growth in the goods segment of the CV industry and strong growth in the bus segment, driven by a modernisation drive by state transport undertakings and strong demand for buses for the school/office segment.”
“This should benefit demand for Wheels India’s wheels and air suspension systems,” he added.
Wheels India makes wheels for trucks, agricultural tractors, passenger vehicles and construction equipment; air suspension systems for trucks and buses; and industrial components for the construction and windmill industry. It has manufacturing plants in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
Ram said supply of wheels and fabrications to the construction equipment industry saw strong growth in FY23, driven by both domestic and export demand. The demand is expected to moderate in the coming year.
Wheels India began operations at a plant machining large hub castings for the wind turbine industry near Chennai in FY23. Ram said the plant is expected to be profitable in the coming year.